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Science

Biology

Grade 9
Full Year
Prerequisites: none

In this year-long course students use the framework of scientific inquiry to learn about the amazing diversity of living things. Laboratory and field investigations give students the opportunity to collect and analyze data. Students generate evidence-based answers to questions that are centrally important in a wide variety of biology-related fields of study such as ecology, morphology and physiology, taxonomy, molecular biology, biochemistry, cellular biology, evolution, and genetics. The course emphasizes the essential concepts of biology, the important interactions within biological systems and the connection between living things and their environment.

Chemistry

Grades 9-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Algebra I

Chemistry is everywhere in the world around us - in what we eat, in what we breathe, in how we live, in what we are. Chemists study not only what things are, but also what they do, and how they do it. It is central to the study of all sciences, and is therefore, inherently interdisciplinary in nature. Topics covered in this course include: kinetic molecular theory, atomic structure, bonding, the nature of chemical reactions, equilibria, thermodynamics, acids/bases, and electrochemistry, with particular emphasis on the use of models to explain laboratory observations. At the end of the year, students will be prepared to take Physics, AP Chemistry, and/or AP Biology.

Physics

Grades 9-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Algebra II grade of B+ or higher, or Algebra II with Trig grade of B or higher

The conceptual and non-calculus based analytical course includes examinations of mechanics, wave motion, sound, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and optics. Each phenomenon will be explored through discussion, demonstration, experimentation, and computer analysis. The course is designed to build on and enhance the computational skills developed in the Park Tudor math sequence. Three projects will be required.

AP Advanced Biology

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Chemistry or Advanced Chemistry with a grade of B- or higher. Students who did not take the Biology course at Park Tudor must earn a qualifying score on a Biology placement test on May 18 or May 19, 2018.

In Advanced Biology students develop a deep understanding of the big ideas of biology and experience the challenges and satisfactions of thinking about the complexities of living things in a science-minded way. Through laboratory investigations, students develop inquiry and science reasoning skills. Students practice forming testable hypotheses, design plans for collecting data and assemble scientific evidence by statistically analyzing data. Class discussion develops the ability to recognize and apply major concepts such as evolution, information transfer, biological recognition, and energy transformation across topics and scales of biological organization. You learn to recognize common structures, mechanisms and uncover thought-provoking order and evolutionary relatedness in the midst of what initially appears to be just a bewildering diversity of forms and functions of living things and their parts. Upon completion of the course, you will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Biology examination.

AP Advanced Chemistry

Grades 9-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry or Physics with a grade of B- or higher. Students who did not take the Introductory Chemistry course at Park Tudor must earn a qualifying score on a Chemistry placement test on May 18 or May 19, 2018.

Advanced (AP®) Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of the General Chemistry course most students take during their first year of college. The course is structured around the six big ideas articulated in the AP® Chemistry curriculum framework provided by the College Board. Learning objectives combine content with inquiry and reasoning skills and require students to think and conduct scientific investigations like working scientists. AP® Chemistry is open to all students who have completed a year of Chemistry (with a grade of B- or better) and who wish to take part in a rigorous and academically challenging course.

AP Advanced Physics

Grades 10-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Pre-Calculus with a grade of B+ or higher and concurrently enrolled in Calculus I or higher with a grade of B+ or higher. Biology, Chemistry or Physics with a grade of B+ or higher for both semesters. Students who did not take the Physics course at Park Tudor must earn a qualifying score on a Physics placement test on May 18 or May 19, 2018.

This course is designed to prepare students for the C level Advanced Placement Physics exam. The course builds on the skills and knowledge base developed during the first-year physics course. Topics are reviewed and re-introduced with a calculus base. The topics include kinematics, dynamics, equilibrium, rotational motion, simple harmonic motion, waves, sound, optics, thermodynamics, fluids, and electromagnetism. New areas of exploration include nuclear and space-time physics. The class meets seven periods each week. Class time is divided among problem-solving sessions, computer simulation explorations, and hands-on lab experience.

Environmental Science

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology or Advanced Biology, and either Chemistry, Conceptual Chemistry or Physics

The view of our earth from space makes it clear that human life and well-being depends on the ecosystem services provided by our planet’s land, atmosphere and bodies of water. Through readings, class discussion, lab, and field work, Environmental Science examines how human life on the planet is supported by natural processes that are often hidden from view and taken for granted. Carbon sequestration, decomposition, nutrient cycling, atmospheric circulation, ocean currents and soil formation are examples of important ecosystem services that permit the abundance of life on the planet. The course also examines how 7 billion people on the planet, empowered by the advances of the agricultural, industrial and information revolutions, are putting these ecosystem services that society is embedded in and dependent on, at risk. As a result of the course, students develop an understanding of the science and economics of ecosystem services, ecological footprints and sustainable approaches that seek to combine environmental integrity with economic vitality. Students begin to translate their understanding of Environmental Science into a personal response to the timeless question of “how are we to live?”

Human Anatomy & Physiology

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology or Advanced Biology, and either Chemistry, Conceptual Chemistry or Physics

This course deals with both the anatomy and physiology of the human body. It is designed to help students discover the functioning of their bodies in both normal and abnormal situations such as drugs, disease, and stress. Students will be able to understand and appreciate the daily life-sustaining activities performed by the human body. Practical aspects will show how knowledge of this subject matter can be applied in their lives and will be accomplished through the use of laboratory techniques, discussions, guest speakers, material presented in lecture and videos, and field trips.

Microbiology

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: Biology or Advanced Biology, and either Chemistry, Conceptual Chemistry or Physics

Microbiology focuses on the biology of microscopic organisms. Their morphology, classification, and differentiation are covered, and those involved with disease are highlighted. In addition to focusing on the unique biology of microbes, special topics will delve deeper into student selected topics, often those connected to current events. Laboratory and curricular-extension experiences emphasizing aseptic techniques for identifying, characterizing, and studying common microorganisms provide unique opportunities for students to engage in hands-on application of the core knowledge and scientific investigation.

The course is intended for seasoned science students who have a particular aptitude and interest in science (i.e., who generally have earned a grade of B or higher in Chemistry and Biology), have demonstrated achievement in their science classes, and who are enthusiastic about doing high-level work. This course is intended to supplement a student’s science studies, rather than replace a full-year course. In addition to the prerequisites, the overall balance of students’ academic programming will be considered prior to registration; final approval lies with the Department Chair.

Organic Chemistry

Grades 11-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: AP Chemistry and either Biology or AP Biology

Organic chemistry deals with the structures, properties, and reactions of compounds that contain carbon (including DNA, peptides, proteins, and enzymes). Organic chemistry is a subject that bridges chemistry and biology, so connections to reactions of biomolecules and biochemical pathways will be emphasized. Students will build an understanding of organic molecule structure and reaction mechanisms. Concepts will be illustrated with lab experiments that will also provide students with hands-on experiences to further develop their lab skills. Topics include: molecular structure, resonance, acid-base theory, nomenclature, and reactions and mechanisms of hydrocarbons, alkyl halides, alcohols, ethers, and carboxylic acids. Organic chemistry is an exciting and enriching course option for advanced science students who have a desire to enroll in a post-AP chemistry course.

Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies: Chemistry & Biology

Grades 11-12
Elective
Two Full Years
Prerequisites: Advanced Biology and Advanced Chemistry by the end of the 12th grade

Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies is a 2-year course of study that includes 150 hours (approximately 4 weeks) of summer research during the summer between the junior and senior year. The course is for students interested in advanced study at the interface of chemistry and biology. The program is designed to encourage students to consider studying science in college and potentially pursue a career in science-related fields. Students who are members of Global Scholars and interested in a science-based research project are encouraged to enroll. The program is also open to students not enrolled in Global Scholars.

Junior Year: Students will take a 1/2 credit course that meets once per 10-day rotation. Students need to be able to attend class during the scheduled meeting time. In year one, students will dive into the primary literature, receive hands-on training in research methods, and learn advanced strategies for data analysis. During this time, students will cultivate the skills and discipline necessary to conduct independent research either at Park Tudor or in a research lab off-campus.

Summer Research Between the Junior and Senior Year: Students conduct 150 hours of research (approximately 4 weeks) with a mentor scientist.

Senior Year: Students who have completed 150 hours of summer research and turn in a complete lab notebook documenting their research are allowed to complete the second year of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies. Students will take a 1/2 credit course that meets once per 10-day rotation. Students need to be able to attend class during the scheduled meeting time. In year two, students will continue to build their content knowledge, but special emphasis will be placed on developing oral and written communication skills with both specialized and general audiences in mind. The course will culminate with a research paper and presentation to the Science Department. This report will be the science portion of the Global Scholars project for the students enrolled in Global Scholars. Students enrolled in Global Scholars and Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies will not complete two separate projects.

Psychology

Grades 11-12
Elective
One Semester
Prerequisites: Biology or Advanced Biology, and either Chemistry, Conceptual Chemistry or Physics

Psychology is the study of human behavior. The emphasis of this course is on psychology as it applies to everyday life, especially the lives of high school students. We intend to make psychological research practical and relevant via the activities and assignments presented in class. Students can expect that for each topic studied, they also will participate in activities that allow them to experience the discipline. In addition to units on physiological, developmental, and clinical psychology, the class will get to choose other units to explore such as personality, learning, and treatment. In addition to these areas, students will engage in short activities from units that we will not be covering in full.

Computer Science

AP Computer Science Principles

Grades 9-12
Elective
Full year
Prerequisites: Geometry or Middle School Computer Science

This course introduces students to the central ideas of computer science, instilling the ideas and practices of computational thinking and inviting students to understand how computing changes the world. This course promotes deep learning of computational content, develops computational thinking skills, and engages students in creative aspects of the field. The major areas of study are organized around seven big ideas: creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, programming, the internet, and global impact. This rigorous course is aimed at highly motivated students who are interested in exploring computer science and have a strong background in problem-solving and logical reasoning.

AP Computer Science A

Grades 9-12
Elective
Full year
Prerequisites: AP Computer Science Principles or department permission

This course introduces students to concepts covered on the Advanced Placement (AP) computer science "A" exam. Emphasis is placed on object-oriented programming and software engineering to develop software solutions using the Java programming language. Key topics include object-oriented programming, class design, data types, decision making, iteration, arrays, array lists, two-dimensional arrays, inheritance, interfaces, abstraction, polymorphism, recursion, sorting and searching.

Data Structures

Grades 10-12
Elective
Full Year
Prerequisites: AP Computer Science A

This course introduces students to fundamental data structures and algorithms in computer science. Emphasis is placed on developing software that optimizes data structures to solve problems efficiently. Several hands-on projects are incorporated throughout the semester to reinforce concepts and promote active learning, and students often work within groups to strengthen collaboration and teamwork skills. Key concepts include linked lists, iterators, list iterators, stacks, queues, recursion, trees, binary search trees, self-balancing trees, heaps, priority queues, hash tables, sets, maps, graphs searching and sorting.

Bioinformatics Algorithms

Grades 11-12
Elective
Fall Semester
Prerequisites: Data Structures

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of bioinformatics with an emphasis on the algorithmic principles that underlie topics in the field. Students develop computer programs to: find where DNA replications begins in a genome, locate regulatory motifs, assemble genomes, and compare biological sequences. Key algorithmic concepts include brute force, greedy, randomized, graph, and dynamic programming. Several hands-on projects are incorporated throughout the semester to reinforce concepts and promote active learning.

Computer Science Seminar

Grades 11-12
Elective
Spring Semester
Prerequisites: Data Structures

This course introduces students to a variety of advanced topics in computer science. Key topics include: command line processing in Linux, bash scripting, version control systems through Git and GitHub, using a Raspberry Pi (single-board computer), prototyping circuits on a breadboard, interfacing circuits with a Raspberry Pi, digital electronics, gaming and networking. Students also complete an interdisciplinary project where they build a two-way speaker (e.g. the speaker enclosure and internal circuit network) and a music server running on a Raspberry Pi. Students also learn about and discuss various career paths in computer science. The course concludes with students designing and implementing a large-scale final project.

Science

The Upper School science curriculum is designed to challenge students to think critically and ask questions about the world around them. The Science Department faculty teaches systematic methods of observation and evaluation, so that students may connect this knowledge with other areas of learning.

The curriculum varies from basic biology to a selection of three Advanced Placement courses. Each student is sure to find science classes that will challenge him or her appropriately.

It is expected that all students will leave Park Tudor School aware of their relationship to living things and to their environment, aware of the place of science and technology in society, and with the ability to think critically about controversial issues that will emerge during their lifetimes.

Computer Science

The computer science curriculum is project-based and focused on actively constructing meaning and knowledge from what is learned in the classroom. By learning fundamental concepts, students are able to work collaboratively on real projects, such as building websites and back-end databases for local nonprofits, building programs used by students and faculty, and creating mobile applications.